Multiple sources are reportedly speaking with Develop about Microsoft’s follow-up to the Xbox 360. While the site obviously did not reveal their tipsters, they do indicate that their information comes from sources across the industry, “from processor chip manufacturers to middleware firms.”
According to Develop’s information, the new Xbox will be called the “Xbox Next” and is currently slated to begin shipping in late 2013. The system will be fully unveiled at E3 in the same year. Develop also indicates that their sources suggest a more international release will occur into 2014.
Develop also shared these, “further developments:”
* Develop understands that Lionhead is working on a project internally named ‘Fable Next’, which will launch on the new console.
* Epic Games’ new Unreal Engine would likely be available sooner than the 2014 date recently given by studio founder Tim Sweeney.
* One source still insists that an EA studio already has rudimentary Xbox console technology on desks. EA has flatly denied the claim.
Microsoft has previously gone on record as saying that the Xbox 360 sports a 10 year life-cycle (just like the PlayStation 3). The console first launched in 2005, so, if the Xbox Next comes in 2013, the 360 will have only reached 8 years of shelf life. However, given past console generations, that’s a nice boost in longevity.
Develop did reach out to Microsoft specifically, but, of course, they declined to comment.
We’ll have more on this as it comes. Short of additional rumors and speculation, we wouldn’t go on expecting anything official or firm to crop up for a while.
As a note, this week’s Weekly Gaming Poll actually features a related topic: when will the next console generation arrive? I believe a lot of folks have their fingers pointing towards 2013; this may shore up some discussion below that article. Take time and join in.